The river Scheldt is 400 kilometres long and flows through France, Belgium and The Netherlands. Its name means “shallow.” It was used for navigation long before the Roman invasion, and during the Middle Ages it played an important political and economical role. Moreover, during long stretches of history it accompanied great religious and artistic trends. The introduction describes the river on a misty morning as we hear the sirens of ships. We navigate over the waves of a sometimes calm and sometimes restless river.
Its history is told through a series of turbulent episodes. The music evokes the nobility of the river, the beauty of the surrounding nature, and the gratitude of the people to whom it gives work and income. Highlights of the composition are the moments when the river flows through the cities Valenciennes, Tournai, Ghent and Antwerp and finally reaches the North Sea.